Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars Recap

First of all, just wanted to shout out a HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husband, Scott.  Lots of love for you today - enjoy your day off from work!  Because it's your birthday, I almost feel bad to brag about once again dominating you in our annual Oscar Prediction Game.  Okay, I may have only one by two or three, but still....

Did you guys watch the Oscars?  Did anyone else find it weird that Natalie Portman kept referring to her fiance as "My Love"?  All I could think of was Jim Carrey in Dumb and Dumber saying, "Goodbye my LOOOOOVVVE."  And how awkward was Melissa Leo's acceptance speech?  Very. Although I was pleasantly surprised at how well Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted.  I actually thought Anne was funnier than James, and I was definitely not expecting that.  So props to female funniness!  Although Scott and I both agreed Inception didn't get as much recognition as it deserved, I was happy to see most of the acting awards go to who they went to.  And now, my favorite part...the fashion.  Here were some of my favorites from the evening:

Mila Kunis - How pretty is that color on her? She looks like a Grecian Goddess.

Gwyneth Paltrow - I love that she went super structured and sleek instead of poufy and over the top.

Cate Blanchett - She might get a lot of criticism for this dress. It's a love it or hate it dress and I am in the "love it" category.

Hailee Steinfeld - I probably just mispelled her name, but it's okay becauase she looks amazing and has looked perfect at every red carpet this season.
Did you watch the oscars?  Who were some of your favorites?  Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paint Colors

So, apparently you can get a free sample of Valspar Paint on their website.  The free kit comes with a $5 off coupon, enough paint for a 4x4 foot area and mini rollers and a mini tray.  I'm so excited to get my sample.  Here's the color I chose:

Sea Salt Blue. You can never tell by looking at your computer screen, but I'm hoping it's the perfect soft gray I've been looking for to paint over these stripes:

If you do this, I'd love to see which colors you choose - feel free to send me photos!  I'll post some photos after my sample arrives and I put it up on the wall.

On a separate note, don't you love things in rainbow order?  I love looking at paint sample displays because of this reason - also bookshelves and closets organized by color fascinate me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Memoir Monday

I'm going to try really hard and keep up with the Memoir Mondays.  As always, you can follow along with Mrs. Ruby and play Memoir Mondays on your own blog as well!

This weekend was our annual winter birthday celebration for my sister Kristen, me, and Scott - since all of our birthdays fall within a month of each other.  We usually have joint birthday parties in our family - a Jan-Feb party, a March party, a summer party, fall party, and of course one for my two cousins who were both born on Dec. 25th. They're siblings, but they're not twins.  Weird, I know.

Anyways, on Saturday I cleaned the house and then headed over to my Grandma's house for Pizza, Angel Food Cake, Presents, and Pitch - a family card game tradition.

Only one more year until officially a teenager!

Scotty wasn't quite ready for this photo op.

No, we're not 261, but there was no 7. So thus 26+1.  I'm three weeks older - a fact he will never let me live down.

Whoohoo, Presents!

Thanks for the Euros, Dad!  We'll need them soon!

When you make silly faces, I will post them on the internet.  Ha.

Then Sunday, I started reading my birthday gift from my Uncle Dave and Aunt Lynn (Thanks, guys!):

Of course, I had planned on going to Home Depot on Sunday and picking out paint colors for the living room.  Instead I read this entire novel.  It's the sequel to The Hunger Games that I read last weekend. Now I'm dying for the third and final book!  Also, on Sunday, Scott and I added a new show to our ever growing list:

We watched the first disc of season one.  We just can't start watching a show in the middle. Whoever invented TV on DVD and Netflix is my hero.  Hope you all had a lovely weekend as well.  I'm already counting down the hours until the next one :).  Happy Monday!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

On The Menu: Grilled Lobster Tail with Chive Butter

I'm so excited to share the special Valentine's Day edition of "On the Menu."  Here's the run-down of what we had:

• Grilled Lobster Tail with Chive Butter
• Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
• Chocolate Lava Cake.

I got the recipe for the Lobster tail HERE. Thanks, Dariana!  They were wonderful!  We were only able to find 2 oz. tails at our local Hen House, so we bought 5 of them.  Next time hopefully we can find at least 5oz. tails. I love this recipe because it only requires 4 ingredients!

I was most nervous about actually preparing the tails to cook on the grill, but it was pretty easy:

While those were being prepared and the grill was heating up, I started on my prosciutto wrapped asparagus. I wish now that I had used just plain bacon, because I didn't quite like the flavor of the prosciutto. The original recipe I had called for cream cheese to spread on the prosciutto before wrapping the asparagus, but I used creamy swiss Laughing Cow wedges instead.  Worked just fine.

Be sure to blanch the asparagus before you wrap them in meat by boiling them for 3 minutes and immediately dunking them in ice water afterwards.  This will make your spears nice and green.

The hardest part was timing everything. I knew the asparagus would take 15 minutes to cook but the lobster wouldn't take any more than 10 because they were so little. Then we assembled everything together...

I'll admit, we didn't even make it out of the kitchen. We wanted to eat everything as fresh and warm as possible so we ate standing at the kitchen island.  Very romantic :)  Scott enjoyed playing with the empty lobster shells...

We gave ourselves about an hour to digest before I went back and assembled the chocolate lava cakes. For my past post on this amazing dessert, you can see the process and photos HERE. I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day celebrating with those you love, whether it was your spouse, partner, kids, or pet!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day + Memoir Monday

So, first of all, HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  Here are my flowers I got from Scott on my birthday:

I finally figured out how to take close up shots with my camera, and it only took me...four years. Since my birthday was only a week ago, he's off the hook for getting me Valentine's Day Flowers.  Plus, hopefully I can keep these alive for many moons!  Three orchids have already opened up and there's a few more buds on the stem.  Hopefully it keeps growing...

Now, my friend Mrs. Ruby over at Ruby Red Slippers has started "Memoir Monday" to recap her weekends, and I've been meaning to play along and do one forever, but have never gotten around to it. But I've decided to stop slacking and do a Memoir Monday.  Feel free to follow along on your blog and link back to Mrs. Ruby if you do! So here it goes...

1. On Saturday I did my twice annual closet purge. Anything I haven't worn in at least six months and everything I know I'm not going to wear goes into a pile for Goodwill.  I know I can never be on the show "Hoarders" because this makes me so happy to get rid of clothes and donate them to a good cause.

2. I shopped for new bedding at Marshall's.  Love that place.  The store was a madhouse - everyone was out and about because the weather was so nice.  Here's the bedding I got:

Scott's reaction? "That a LOT of pillows."  I love gray with yellow and orange - that's the theme we have in our bedroom. 

3. Saturday night we watched The Social Network.  It was good. Do I think it deserves to win best picture and it's the greatest movie ever made? Not so much.

4. I read an entire novel.  That's right.  I can't remember the last book I read where I was so eager for the outcome.  I literally could not stop reading this until it was finished.  It was, of course, The Hunger Games.  If you have not read this, go and buy it, borrow it, whatever.  Just READ IT!  I'm on the bandwagon.

5. Sunday I worked on a painting while we watched TV.  I'll put it up for sale in the Etsy Shop today.  I love Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka, thus, the inspiration for this painting.

6. And finally, Sunday night, we shopped for all of our ingredients for our special Valentine's dinner.  I'm so excited to cook tonight.  Don't worry, I'll record the process and post tomorrow!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Enjoy the wonderful weather this week while we still can!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

White Rooms

I used to think white walls, white sheets, white decor, etc were so....plain and boring. Vanilla.  Until I saw this bedroom:

Via A Cup of Jo Via Red Cottage Inc
 I want to live in that room - looks so cozy!  Oh my design inspiration file is certainly piling up.  Now I just need to start doing the rooms in our house we haven't gotten to yet...

Valentine's Day Dinner

Just wanted to pop in and say stay tuned for a special "On the Menu" next week.  Scott and I are planning on making a fancy dinner for Valentine's Day.  It's a little nervewracking because we want to do something really special, like lobster, but we've never made it before.  I think it's because we don't want to buy expensive ingredients only to screw it up, so we'll see how it goes.  We'll make the meal and I'll record and post all the details Tuesday.  So far we're thinking grilled lobster tail, prosciutto wrapped grilled asparagus, and chocolate lava cake.  Any recipe suggestions are welcome!

Via AllRecipes


Via King Arthur Flour
We don't normally celebrate V-Day because we have both of our birthdays in February (mine was on Saturday, and yes, it was fabulous)., so by the time we get to the 14th, we're kind of humbugs about it.  Not this year.  I'm actually excited for our special meal! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Room Layout Help!

So, we've decided to keep our house a little while longer and not put it back up on the market this Spring.  It would be nice to move to a bigger place, but the fish just are not biting right now in the world of realty.  BUT, that's okay, because I've always got lots of projects to do around the house.  And I've made a giant list of things I still want to do (Paint the kitchen, reface the cabinets, tile the shower, etc.).  Scotty, if you're reading this, I know this makes you want to jump off a building, but it will be fun!

The first thing I want to do is figure out our living room situation.  We spend most of our time in this room, so I want it to be comfortable and usable. 

Looking at the front door
Looking towards the back of the house

Our house is a small, 1100 sq. foot bungalow built in the 1920s.  It's a "shotgun" style which is long and skinny and you can stand at the front door and see all the way to the back of the house.

I love our chair and coffee table, but the sofa has got to go.  3 dogs have just been too much for the poor microfiber couch.  I would like more seating in this room in general, but have no idea how to accomplish that in such a small space.  Also, we've never really had a proper dining table - just hand me down furniture and folding chairs.  It's okay, because we eat at the table about 2-3 times a year.

So, here are my biggest dilemmas:
1. How can I add more seating in a small space?
2. How can I more effectively separate the dining space from the living space?
3. What sort of dining set would you suggest?
4. How can I bring more light into this room?  The light from the fan make our house look like a crack den, so we need more table, floor lamps, sconces, etc to bring in light.  Should we paint the walls? I'd be okay with getting rid of the stripes, but they were a lot of work, so I'll king of miss them.

All thoughts and suggestions, including links to furniture and paint colors appreciated.  I know there are interior designers out there just waiting to help me out!